Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs High School volleyball stunned Battle Mountain with a three-game sweep Saturday morning but could not keep the momentum to take down first-place Eagle Valley that night.
The Sailors took their first victory against the Huskies in four years, 25-23, 25-20 and 25-23.
"We played really clean. It was a huge win for us," Steamboat coach Wendy Hall said.
Against Battle Mountain, senior outside hitter Kacey Bull had nine kills, and junior middle blocker Devin Wilkinson tallied seven. Junior outside hitter Gracie Stockdale had a spectacular performance and went 23-for-23 serving against the Huskies, with three aces.
"Getting over that mountain of beating Battle Mountain at the varsity level - to finally get that was a huge mental barrier," Hall said.
Battle Mountain and Eagle Valley, who lead the Western Slope League, both beat Steamboat in previous meetings this season Sept. 20. Steamboat got off to a good start against the Devils in their second match-up in Saturday's doubleheader, but Eagle handed them a loss after five games.
"We let that one slip away," Hall said. "They claimed, physically, they weren't tired. But I think mentally, we showed that we hit the wall."
On Saturday night, the Sailors comfortably took the first game against the Devils, 25-20. Game 2 was off to a close start before an 8-point run by the Sailors gave Steamboat a comfortable lead. The Sailors kept up their momentum to build a 24-18 lead but struggled to make the game point until Eagle Valley handed them Game 2 with an out-of-bounds serve, for a final score of 25-22.
The Devils trounced Steamboat, 14-25, in the third game, and the Sailors were unable to recover. Eagle Valley held down the Sailors, 20-25, in Game 4, tying it up 2-2. The Devils ran out with a 5-point run to kick off a dominating fifth game, finishing off the Sailors, 15-7, for the win.
"For some reason, the lights went off in the third," Hall said. "(The Devils) are not going to hand it to you, you've got to go out and finish things."
The Sailors finished against Eagle with 29 hitting errors, and Steamboat's passing game was not much better.
"When we're controlling the ball, and (junior setter) Colleen (King)'s able to get underneath and make something happen, we're in sync," Hall said.
"She was chasing stuff all over the place," Hall said. "You just can't do that against a good team."
After Saturday's games, Steamboat is 7-4 in league play, 10-4 overall. Steamboat will take on Delta at home Friday, with play beginning at 6:30 p.m. If Steamboat beats Delta, the Sailors likely will battle for third-place in the league in their next match-up against Palisade.